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Old 26-11-2020, 10:43 PM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
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Scotty Alder (Tornado33) made an interesting comment regarding this image on Facebook, that gotta me to a thanking....hmmm?

Scott commented that he would like to see me push my big fast scope to see how deep it can go, hey a bloody great idea ...but then I thought, hmm? I took 10hrs of Luminance data with a 300mm dia scope at a fast F3.8 under reasonably dark skies, so I wonder just how deep I had already managed to go..?

So I searched for deep images or even better, quantitative empirical papers on the brightness of some of the faint outer tidal tail regions of NGC 1316. Well low and behold it didn't take long and I found one

A paper by E. Iodice et al from 2017 shed some very interesting light on my enquiry. This paper used deep imaging data from the ESO VLT Survey Telescope (VST) a 2.6m F5.5 modified Ritchey-Chretien optical layout with a two lens wide-field corrector and located at Cerro Paranal in Chile.

In fact this paper revealed that some of the very faintest structures captured in my data were only identified as recently as 2017 and reported in this paper, the faintest of which (labelled L9 in the annotated image at the link below) shine at an almost impossibly feeble 30.1 mag/squ arc sec!! (which is about 2000X fainter than the core region of the galaxy!)...but never the less, still detectable with amateur equipment

So the initial answer to Scotty's question is..well? in 10hrs worth of 10min exposures through my 12" F3.8 Newt, using a modern commercial cooled CCD camera (SXVR-H694) I can (at least) record faint structures with surface brightness's fainter than 30mag/square arc sec!...that's BLOOD FAINT...in this case, so faint in fact, that even for a significant and regularly studied galaxy like NGC 1316, they weren't identified until just 3 years ago!

Here is the image analysis showing the depth reached (remember to have your screen adjusted properly with brightness turned up as these features are very faint)

A reminder to look deep and carefully into your data, you never know what you might dig up or discover

Mike

Last edited by strongmanmike; 27-11-2020 at 12:00 AM.
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  #42  
Old 02-12-2020, 04:26 PM
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Stunning work Mike. Makes me wonder how much other interesting undiscovered stuff there is out there if only we have the patience to go really deep.
Geoff
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Old 03-12-2020, 09:31 AM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
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Originally Posted by Geoff45 View Post
Stunning work Mike. Makes me wonder how much other interesting undiscovered stuff there is out there if only we have the patience to go really deep.
Geoff
Hey cheers Geoff, that's right, always worth a look-see the pro's are often being quite specific with their targets in terms of what they are looking for, so plenty of really faint stuff isn't always picked up or noticed by them ..in this case had I shot this same data set in say 2016, I might'a perhaps had another discovery under my belt ..all great fun.

Mike
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Old 08-12-2020, 02:38 PM
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Wow that's remarkable stuff indeed. Im so glad I had a part in initiating the big effort!
I just knew when you got such a fast scope and a high quality cooled astro camera that a long imaging session on the one object would show things rarely or never seen before.
Amateur systems might not be able to match the resolution of professional observatories but if one is prepared to spend many hours on one area of sky at a dark site with fast high quality scopes and astro cams, the depth of the image could go beyond what has been imaged before even from professional observatories. Imagine the cost of say, 10 hours on the AAT or Keck. It would be rarely done unless there was a specific observation need. Thus its up to the advanced and dedicated with their own equipment to capture these amazing things. Well done!
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Old 08-12-2020, 07:33 PM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
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Originally Posted by tornado33 View Post
Wow that's remarkable stuff indeed. Im so glad I had a part in initiating the big effort!
I just knew when you got such a fast scope and a high quality cooled astro camera that a long imaging session on the one object would show things rarely or never seen before.
Amateur systems might not be able to match the resolution of professional observatories but if one is prepared to spend many hours on one area of sky at a dark site with fast high quality scopes and astro cams, the depth of the image could go beyond what has been imaged before even from professional observatories. Imagine the cost of say, 10 hours on the AAT or Keck. It would be rarely done unless there was a specific observation need. Thus its up to the advanced and dedicated with their own equipment to capture these amazing things. Well done!
Cool, huh Scotty?...cheers mate, thanks for the impetus

Mike
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